How realistic is Downton Abbey?
I've done some research on this and as Jon Mixon's second below (dailymail) the quality of the servant's lives varied enormously depending on their employer's disposition. The average great house probably did have their servants work 16 hrs days didn't provide healthcare beyond what was needed to keep them working and ignored the servants like they were appliances. However as the ( Downton's dirty secret One former maid on why the cosy relationship between the Granthams and their servants is risible ) exs some houses did treat their servants better than that. I think Downton Abbey can be regarded as realistically being one of the houses which treated their servant better than most houses but a lot of things are shown in a more simple fashion and some artistic license has been taken. Both Lord Grantham and his mother the Dowager Countess have shown repeatedly that they are all about tradition and part of that tradition is taking care of one's employees as you want them in the best shape possible for them to serve you. The Lord demonstrated how he felt about his servants when Matthew wanted to dress himself and was putting his valet out of a job and this has been demostrated repeatedly over the series by the Lord and his mother the Dowager Countess who both were raised with the idea that with privilagees responsibility to keep everything going. Granted many Lords and Ladies didn't feel this way but I'm sure there were some who did. This is not an unique concept the best managers in real life know there is give and take btwn them and their employees and if the employer wants the employee to give 11% then they can't browbeat the employee or put them in positions where they can't put all their effort into the job. The Lord his Lady and his mother the Dowager Countess have also shown some concern for long term employees who had medical issues (like Mrs Patmore) and hiring and keeping on his old Batman Bates. I'm sure the Lord and Lady of the house is more than happy to have Mrs Hughes and Carson deal with most of the servants problems when possible and think any new servant that caused too much trouble would be dismissed rather than messed with. Another thing DA has done well is to use various characters often Daisy to be a foil a good example of this is in the first few minutes of the first episode of DA. William is ironing the newspaper and Daisy asks why and it is exed that he does this so that the Lord doesn't get ink on his hands reading the newspaper. Now that's not something we do today but it was exed to the audience in a minute just by Daisy playing the foil. A lot of the conversation btwn characters of any class is having one of them play the foil so something can be exed to the audience. I just got the chance to see series 5 and in one part Mrs. Hughes exs several stops in London and Mary summaries the conversation to tell the audience what they needed to know that a character did have enough time and the locations were close enough. So whether these conversations are btwn upstairs and downstairs or with the same class frequently they are engineered in order to let the audience know key information without having to talk down to them. As was pointed out to me by my partner as I watched the first couple of episodes (he had seen the first few before me) that Downton Abbey is run very much like a big corporation the Lord Lady and Dowager Countess are the chief officers but Mrs Hughes and Carson really run the operation and delegate down their own lines to the maids cooks and footmen respectively. However I seriously doubt any of the family would speak directly to the footmen while they were dinning or the Lord would walk into the servants hall when trying to find Carson. Of course there would be several times more servants working at Downton Abbey than is show especially maids but the show purposely doesn't show this to avoid confusion. n nAlthough some of the servants like the scullery maids might be illiterate certainly positions like Mrs Hughes (head housekeeper) Carson (butler) Anna Bates (Lady's maid) and Bates (valet) could not be done if one was illiterate. The lady of the house depended on the Lady's maid as sort of her assistant in many ways not just dressing but any errands or anything else same for the valet for the Lord of the house. The head housekeeper and butler really ran the house with ordering supplies taking them in keeping inventory planning parties etc. The cooks too usually could read and write. Partly due to the fact women earned less than men back then even for similar work the footmen usually made almost as much money as a head housekeeper or lady's maid; they were considered higher than a maid in standing in the house but below any butlers or valets. The footmen were responsible for serving meals as well as usually setting up and busing the table they often apanied the family in the carriage if business had to be attended to they also often did some responsibilities that were similar to the maid's jobs like cleaning boots chamber pots etc. n nGoing into domestic service from the Victorian period to the end of WWI was seen as slightly better and more dignified than working the numerous factory jobs that were available during the Second Industrial Revolution. The pay was usually better one had room and board in addition to a salary and frequently positions would be passed down from one family member to the next. Domestic service was also one of the few places a woman could work back then it employed more women than any other industry in Britain. Physically the work was often easier than the sweat shop jobs as although the work at a great house was without modern conveniences most the work was house work most people have done before. The servants usually had cleaner and more temperature controlled environments than at the factories not so good by our modern standards but since they were around the family things couldn't be too too hot or dirty even in the basement etc. It was pretty easy to move up the ranks over time so it was a good career path for both genders with not much education or resources. n nWhat the servants didn't have was a lot of time to themselves they worked longer hours than the factory workers and rarely had more than a Sunday afternoon off work. Many servants ended up like Mrs Hughes and Mr. Carson who cared for a family all their lives but it wasn't their own family. They never had time off to met someone marry have kids or a family life instead they just served the family they worked for. For a little over 5 yrs these domestic service positions were still more attractive to many people than the factory jobs then about the time Downton Abbey starts in 1914 these domestic jobs start to be less attractive and the great houses start going in decline often due to the new tax laws enforced after WWI. nDuring this time up until WWI and in the 192's to follow a lot of labor laws were put into to place to make factory jobs safer and less long so many of the young people started to prefer the factory jobs as they had their own time outside of working. They could live where and how they wanted marry who they chose raise a family and have some time outside of work which a domestic servant did not. Also after WWI so many other jobs came available that had not be around before due to new technology and other advancements. So getting office jobs and other non factory or non domestic jobs were also preferred by young people. In the 192's it became hard to find trained domestic help but at the same time the great houses were either failing or turning into sustainable businesses. n nI think Downton Abbey does a great job of showing this all. At one point early on in a private moment Mrs Hughes and Carson wistfully discuss how they spent their years in domestic life rather than have their own families. Then there is the story line about the maid learning to so she can get an office job. There is Mosley always wanting to move up the ranks and being upset to have to be a footman again and even what we'd think of small differences in title (first footman vs second footman) making a big difference to him. There's been a fewments about not being able to find trained domestic staff after WWI and Carson being so upset that the maids had to serve dinner because there were no footmen available. Also the whole Matthew trying to make Downtown Abbey a sustainable business Robert fighting it due to tradition the sitution with the taxes due after WWI are all well done and show us some of what great houses went through after WWI and why those still around are like Highclere Castle or have fallen like the house Mary and Matthew were looking into buying when they married. Of course they show things as simple as possible sometimes and they take artistic licenses and surely they show some more pleasantries than probably occurred with both classes but I think they do a very good job at the series. In a hundred years people may look back at shows like The Middle and wonder if it correctly represented middle class life in the USA in the early decades of the 21 century and the answer could be yes or no depending on who you ask. They certainly are nothing like my family life growning up or now but I'm sure they represent some people's families.
San Francisco becomes the first major US city to ban e-cigarettes - does the use of electronic cigarettes really present "significant public health consequence" to minors as they specifically singled out?
French figures from French OFDT (EnClass data from 218) show that the increase of 3d use of vaping is the same as the decrease of 3d (and daily) smoking. It confirms the Paris Sans Tabac data that showed vaping displaced smoking (which also showed since 216 that most never-smokers who vape don use nicotine). Currently 16% of high-school students say they vaped at least once during the month (52% experimented vaping). And (nearly) everybody is fine with it as they don smoke same as UK. The pseudo-theory of vapers bing smokers had been (re)debunked for years including in the US except if insane executives decide to ban vaping and let only cigarettes without even telling people than oral tobacco is also a possible alternative with gar fewer risks if any (probably more than vaping for some forms of oral tobacco and less with others). The frivolous theory of brain-modification is known as it is propaganda only as drinking coffee masturbation some sports would make more or less the same kind of effects in an fMRI. The other #fakescience has been debunked one after another in the last 1 years now usually in a couple of hours. I may add as Im quite interested in potential risks from vaping as a vaper and as a consumer organisation member that what I read from the US is more than shameful as those pseudo-scientist papers wouldn pass a peer review in any other medical field and that serious scientists from vapingpanies (independent or tobacco related) and a couple of independent scientists from Universities have been searching far more serious and non-imaginary issues for years now (and there are and they are acting on them and removing them which is why vaping is now even safer than it was 5 years ago). Not having any pretend-health-agencies working on those issues or simply understanding them is quite worrying seeing millions used for pitiful pseudo-science